Dessie Hughes remembered at The Festival

Monday, February 16, 2015 – Cheltenham Racecourse announces today that the award for leading trainer at The Festival will commemorate the late Dessie Hughes. Sponsorship will be provided by The Irish Independent newspaper again. The Irish Independent Dessie Hughes Leading Trainer Award will go to the trainer who sends out the most winners during the four days of The Festival (Tuesday, March 10 to Friday, March 13). Willie Mullins has taken the honours for the past two years. Dessie Hughes, who died on November 16,…

McLintock targeting Aintree with Carlito Brigante

Karen McLintock is looking forward to saddling her first runner in the £1-million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 11. The Northumberland handler is hoping to run Carlito Brigante, who has won two of his six starts over fences since joining her stable and was last seen out registering a 17-length victory in a three mile, two furlong handicap chase Kelso in October. The nine-year-old, formerly trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, ran away with the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at the 2011…

Sam Waley-Cohen hoping for Express delivery in tomorrow’s Betfair Ascot Chase

Amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen is hoping that Rajdhani Express (20/1 with Betfair) can get his season back on track in the tomorrow’s £150,000 Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase (3.50pn), the highlight of a seven-race programme celebrating 50 years of jump racing at the Royal racecourse. The eight-year-old, who is trained by Nicky Henderson, enjoyed a fabulous season in 2012/13, winning a Listed novices’ handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grade Two Future Champion Novices’ Chase at Ayr. Last season, he ran a fine…

Balder Succes and Ptit Zig joint-favourites as six declared for Saturday’s Betfair Ascot Chase

Top-rated Balder Succes and exciting novice Ptit Zig headline six runners for the £150,000 Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase (3.50pm) on Saturday, February 14. The pair are 2/1 joint favourites with Betfair for the extended two mile and five furlong contest. Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a Grade One-winning novice last season and comes in to the Betfair Ascot Chase on the back of a decisive 10-length victory over Fox Appeal in two and a half mile Listed chase at Kempton Park on January…

Nothing like a Festival winner to get Snowden’s pulse racing

Jamie Snowden enjoyed a first winner at The Festival in 2014 with Present View, who gained a thrilling victory in the Listed Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase (now the Cheltenham Club Novices’ Handicap Chase). The trainer, who served as Captain in the Kings Royal Hussars and was previously assistant to Nicky Henderson before setting up on his own in July, 2008, was saddling only his third runner at the prestigious meeting. He had been represented previously by outsiders Ixora and Miss Milborne in the OLBG Mares’…

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